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Age change in healthcare settings: a reply to Lippert-Rasmussen and Petersen


Lippert-Rasmussen and Petersen discuss my ‘Moral case for legal age change’ in their article ‘Age change, official age and fairness in health’. They argue that in important healthcare settings (such as distributing vital organs for dying patients), the state should treat people on the basis of their chronological age because chronological age is a better proxy for what matters from the point of view of justice than adjusted official age. While adjusted legal age should not be used in deciding who gets scarce vital organs, I remind the readers that using chronological age as a proxy is problematic as well. Using age as a proxy could give wrong results and it is better, if possible, for states to use the vital information directly than use age as a proxy.

  • ethics
  • health care economics
  • allocation of health care resources
  • public health ethics
  • right to healthcare

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